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23-year-old dies in crash that shut down Route 17 on border of Rockland and Orange counties

1 dead after head-on collision on Rockland-Orange line 01:59

TUXEDO, N.Y. -- A person is dead following a head-on crash on the border of Rockland and Orange counties. 

It happened around 7:30 a.m. Monday on Route 17, known as Orange Turnpike, in Tuxedo.

As CBS2's Tony Aiello reported, this stretch is a two-lane road, unlike the divided highway through Paramus or Monticello. 

State police said a 2007 sedan heading south crossed into the northbound lane and smashed head-on into a truck from a local tree service company, then burst into flames.

First responders rushed the driver to the hospital, but they were pronounced dead. Police identified the driver as 23-year-old Ahkem Chu III, from Chester. Friends of Chu, however, told CBS2's Tony Aiello his name was Ahken Chu. 

Two people in the truck were not seriously injured. 

Chopper 2 Flying

Chopper 2 is over the scene of a serious crash on the Rockland-Orange county line. Watch complete local coverage on CBS News New York:

Posted by CBS New York on Monday, April 18, 2022

The highway was shut down for hours. Aiello spoke with one driver who had to turn around trying to get to Woodbury Commons, but said she was keeping the inconvenience in perspective.

"Awful, awful. I mean, you can't even feel bad for us having to re-navigate," Carina Buegi said. "You know, someone obviously went through something awful."

The State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit is on the scene to figure out what caused the crash.


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